French anchor charts – easy ways to make and use them

Making and using French anchor charts

Have you ever used French anchor charts? They can be very useful and helpful to students, and they are easy to make and use. There are many different ways to make them, but I will share with you my favorite way to make them.

What is a French anchor chart?

An anchor chart is a tool that students can use to keep track of the most important information from a lesson or a unit. A French anchor chart might be a poster, or a copied sheet of paper, or a digital file. In my classes, I make my anchor charts as digital files that can then be shared with students through Teams.

When making my French anchor charts, I think about what information is the most important for students to access. Generally, this means that I will pick some sort of functional task and then determine what are the most important words and phrases for a student to have available in order to complete the task. Here’s an example of an anchor chart that I made for a unit about ordering food in a café or a restaurant:

French anchor charts - easy ways to make and use them

Note that I’ve divided it into things that a customer might say and things a waiter might say. This helped students on their interpersonal communication quiz when one student played the role of a waiter, and two other students played the role of students. In real life, they would use the anchor chart differently – they are unlikely to ever work as a waiter in a French-speaking country, but they would need to understand these phrases if they were to eat at a restaurant.

In that case, the waiter’s phrases would be more important as understood than as active vocabulary that they can use. I share this anchor chart on the smartboard as the students work on their speaking quiz, and then I make sure that I give them a copy in their digital notebooks.

How to make a French anchor chart

While you can make an anchor chart using poster paper, I prefer to make my French anchor charts digitally. No matter what format you choose to use, you will want to make sure that the text is clear and legible, and it should be well-organized on the page. This means that the first step is to spend a little time thinking about what information is the most important, and then deciding how it will be arranged on the page.

I think about what different parts of the task need to be addressed, and then divide the text accordingly. It may be by person (waiter/customer, shopkeeper/client) or it might be by task. For this anchor chart used to talk about activities, I divided the chart into sections for talking about what they like to do, with whom, and why.

French anchor charts - easy ways to make and use them

I prefer to make my anchor charts in Canva – it’s a free program that has tons of options. I generally start with an 11X8.5″ blank document. I use the text tools to add the different sections and then put some graphics that have to do with the topic. I’ll add a background, but usually you will want to lower the transparency of it so that the text is easily read.

Another option is to have students make their own anchor charts – whether on paper or digitally, students can make charts that are organized in a way that will be most useful to them. Whatever method you use to make anchor charts, they can be a useful way for your students to keep the most important information available in a way that is useful and clear.

French anchor charts - easy ways to make and use them

If you like using Canva for anchor charts, you may be interested in reading about other ways I use Canva in my classes.